Drowning in Zeds

I am in the clutches of Morpheus. No, not in the grip of morphine, or any other drug for that matter other than caffeine, but I am being overtaken by the God of Sleep. Doubtless  I have caught this Rip van Winkle tendency from my son who has recently arrived home from university. He never gets out of bed before noon and ever since he arrived my current situation has become noticeably worse. Yet it’s beginning to percolate through my foggy thought processes that becoming a dormouse may not be infectious, even if yawning is. My lethargy could be the strain of having three years of my son’s university necessities (sombreros, onesies, guitar, bike included) dumped into my front hall or even narcosis induced by the fumes arising from his mountain of laundry. His rucksack stayed in the hall for 12 days until he finally ran out T-shirts. Maybe he kept me awake by playing the piano loudly; no, not soothing. He’s now gone off to Thailand, but the malady lingers on. As does the malodoury.

 It’s appealing to believe that I might be ill with African sleeping sickness or a good solid dose of narcolepsy because at least then something could be done. Deep in my soul, however, I’m sure that I’m completely fine. Well, other than not being able to stay awake. I’ve not managed quite reach the levels of a friend of mine who used to fall asleep every night at nine o’clock no matter what was happening, which could be embarrassing in the middle of a dinner party. Or other circumstances.

I’ve discovered that although I don’t need to be horizontal to go to sleep, it’s definitely a case of the flatter the better. I can manage about 20°, on a sofa. Although  I’m convinced that my husband can fall asleep standing up, I think 45° might be my limit; at 50°, sleep would evade me. Presumably with a bit of practice one could add the odd extra degree or two until 90° did become an option. Yet however well practiced or committed, I feel that 100° would need to remain a temperature not a goal, although it might be funny seeing people sleeping with a slight overhang. I won’t be attempting the Increasing Degrees project as in being shattered by attempting, and presumably regularly failing, to go to sleep in differing degrees of steepness, I would give up the whole nightmare idea before I have made it past 47°.

Why is sleep represented by multiple zeds? zzzzzzzz sounds more like a bee or a lawnmower starting up. Sleep should be represented by something soft like ahhhhhhhhh.

My current state would make me an easy target for a hypnotist.

‘You’re getting sleepy.’



‘Sure I’m sure. I’m already sleepy. There’s no ‘getting’ about it.’

‘In that case I’ll put you deeply out when I count to…. hello… hello…you still in there? Right, as you’re under, act like a dog… no?… cat?…still no, huh? Elephant…nope…sloth?… aaah, there you are.’

There could be other non-medical causes for my somnambulant state by day, such as maybe I snore. No. Like just no. Absolutely no. I don’t care whether I do or not, I’ve chosen to believe that I don’t, so it doesn’t happen. The end.  No further discussion. I’ll stick to the scientifically proven concept of wishful thinking: if you don’t want something to be true it won’t be. So there. To verify this theory, ask any child younger than eight.

Dreaming is the upside of this. I’ve had some wonderful dreams like walking peacefully through fields or lying comfortably on a lake. Last night’s was a little unusual as I was travelling and somebody asked me to take a Serbian child called Horsa with me. I woke up still worrying about what Balkan children eat and balking at the prospect .

Half of the problem is of course that it is so delicious falling asleep. It really doesn’t take much for me to want to slump into the warm and welcoming arms of sleep which I envisage as sliding backwards into a large, black, fleecy blanket. Yummy. In fact, so good, why would I resist? …. ahhhhhhhhh…


About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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